Brewers Blog: 4/3/13 Cask Beer

Brewers Blog: 4/3/13 Cask Beer

One facet of our brewery that we’ve been working hard to develop, is our cask beer program. If you’re a brewer and you’ve tried to get some casks out there, you know how difficult it can be to generate interest in what is considered by the ill-informed as warm, flat beer. I’d like to help dispel a few of these notions about a beer serving medium that we here at Cape Cod Beer love.

First off, cask beer is not warm, and its also not supposed to be served at room temperature. It is ideally served at 50F – 55F. Which is widely considered cellar temperature. Not warm, just not cold to the point where you lose some of the subtle characteristics of the beer. All flavors and aroma are standing right out front for all to see when drinking a properly served cask beer. It hearkens back to a simpler time really, a time when the white noise of mass produced beer had yet to break the sound barrier. Now, that may just be my own romanticism shining through but there is truth in this. History as far back as 424 BC is littered with references of beer and wine in wooden casks.

jeff caskOnward before I lose my point. Cask beer is not flat. It is lightly carbonated. Once the beer has been racked into the cask it undergoes a second fermentation, causing it to naturally carbonate. Amazing right? It also gives us brewers more freedom to play around with different hops and dry-hopping methods. Could be worse right?
Lastly, the careful work that goes into one cask of beer is nothing short of remarkable. Not only is the brewer putting forth effort, but also the bartender/manager who buys the cask from the brewery has to be trusted to pay careful attention to the cask, and help to further develop the beer so as to give the best possible experience to their customer. It’s one big trust fall really. In short (or kind of long), Cask beer is a wonderful experience for all involved. If you like your beer with a side of historical relevance… Give a cask beer a shot.

At any given time we have a cask or two that we’re taking care of, waiting for one of our accounts to give it a home. We’ll keep you posted on the when and where.

Jeff Rowe
Lead Brewer